In line with the thematic focus of MESA 2013, this panel aims to draw attention to the lived experiences of migrant domestic workers in the Middle East. For over half a century, the Middle East is a major migration corridor for domestic workers from Asia and Africa. Yet, the dominant discourse still focuses to a large extent on abuse and rights violations. We propose to look beyond this frame and ask questions about the varied experiences of (male and female) migrant domestic workers.What are the kinds of interactions and cross cultural contacts they form across different migrant communities, for example through inter-marriages and relationships (with both citizens and other non-nationals)? How have their religious practices changed (which may include the spaces for practice of their home religions, or new religious practices/conversions to Evangelical Christianity or Islam)? To what extent do they absorb changes in lifestyle values, particularly through the cultures of consumption that they may be exposed to, desire, or actively participate in? What are their engagements in activist or other organizational spaces? How has “the Arab Spring” impacted on migrant domestic workers and in what way have they responded?
We invite paper abstracts that cover all nationalities of migrant domestic workers (such as Indian, Indonesian, Filipina, Nepali, Ethiopian and Somali women) and countries in the Middle East (such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Lebanon, Israel and Yemen).
Please submit your abstract (200-300 words) to Marina de Regt (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Bina Fernandez (email@example.com) before February 12, 2013
Be aware that you have to be a MESA member for 2013 to submit your paper, once we have selected it. The system will not let you submit if your membership is not current. The deadline for submission to MESA is February 15, 2013.
Marina de Regt
VU University Amsterdam
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
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